Dipo Ceremony – What You Need To Know

by Kojo Pocu
EFFECTS OF PUBERTY RITES

Are you looking to enjoy some traditional ceremony in Ghana? If yes, then attending Dipo ceremony will be one of your best travel experience. Read this article and know more about the ceremony.

The Dipo Rites are perhaps Ghana’s most popular yet controversial traditional festival and practise, as well as one of the country’s most well-attended events, attracting a large number of foreigners.

The inhabitants of Odumase Krobo in the Eastern area celebrate Dipo. The annual ritual is intended to launch puberty-aged girls and virgins into womanhood. The ritual, which was traditionally performed on a young girl, denotes that she has matured into a woman and is ready to marry.

The festival is held in the month of April every year. Parents send their qualified girl children to the town’s top priest after the event is announced. These young girls are subsequently put through a series of procedures to verify their chastity and eligibility for the rites, which are exclusively open to virgins and girls in puberty.

How Dipo is Celebrated

The Dipo Ceremony begins after rituals and exams are done to confirm a girl’s eligibility to participate in the rites. The females have their heads shaved and a piece of fabric tied around their waist to their knee level on the first day of the ceremonies, while the upper half of their bodies remain bare. Following that, the females are paraded through the entire community.

The girls are escorted to the chief priest the next day, who pours libation and then takes them to a ritual bath where their feet are washed in goat blood in the sight of their parents. According to their beliefs, the ceremonial bath is used to ward off evil spirits such as the spirit of barrenness. The females then proceed to a sacred stone to see if they are pregnant and to prove their virginity.

Dipo Ceremony

Following all of this, the young girls are sheltered for a week and schooled about femininity, marriage, and the people’s customs and traditions. The children are then returned to their parents. The Dipo ceremony culminates in a large durbar in the community, during which the girls are dressed in kente and given exquisite jewels by their parents. Any male present at the durbar who is interested in one of the girls might start looking into her past and family at this time before making an official approach.

While human rights groups have criticised the festival, claiming that the practise is absurd and violates the girls’ privacy, especially because they are paraded through town half-naked, the event continues to draw large crowds, with thousands of tourists flocking to Krobo Odumase every April to witness the Dipo (ceremony)Festival.

Who Perform Dipo Rite?

As a result, the execution of Dipo puberty rites is seen as a way of uniting young women in their social roles and merging the Krobo people’s arts. It also illustrates the importance of these various art forms in the lives of the Krobo people, particularly Dipo performance.

Time Dipo is Celebrated

Every year in April, the festival takes place. After the event is publicised, parents send their qualifying girl children to the town’s top priest.

Ghana Travel Restrictions 

Ghana is open to most travelers again. I mean travelers from all over the world. However, you do need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or a negative test result before being allowed entry.

Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety. 

Read the ultimate travel guide to Ghana to help you plan your trip.